The agitating community health care providers continued non-stop hunger strike for second consecutive day on Friday, demanding nationalisation of their jobs.
Five health workers who were a part of the hunger strike for these two days had to be hospitalised, the organisers said.
The protestors opted for indefinite hunger strike from Thursday after they failed to get positive response from the government despite protests from January 22 and non-stop sit-in in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka from January 27 to press home their demand for job nationalisation.
Bangladesh Community Healthcare Providers’ Association joint convenor Maksudur Rahman said that they would continue their hunger strike until the concerned authorities realise their demand of job nationalisation.
Earlier on Wednesday, health minister Mohammad Nasim at a meeting with the health workers at his secretariat office, assured them that their jobs would be regularised, but they were not convinced by this.
‘We want our jobs to be nationalised,’ said the association chief adviser Kamal Sarkar.
After Prime minister Sheikh Hasina initiated the community clinics in 2011, there are currently around 13,500 community health clinics across the country where the community healthcare providers work to ensure primary health services.
They work on a muster roll with a daily salary equivalent to grade 14 of the national pay scale. ‘We get about Tk 16,000 per month now, but we are deprived of other service benefits like that of nationalised employees,’ said Bangladesh Community Healthcare Providers’ Association convenor Shahidul Islam.
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